Mayor Eric Garcetti and Christopher Hawthorne
Occidental College Mayor Eric Garcetti and Christopher Hawthorne

Today architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne announced that he is leaving his position at the Los Angeles Times, a job he has held for more than a decade, for a new position in city government: the chief design officer for Los Angeles.

"Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has asked me to fill a new post called chief design officer for the city," Hawthorne writes in a piece published in the Times this morning. "In that role, beginning next month, I'll be working in the mayor's office to raise the quality of public architecture and urban design across the city — and the level of civic conversation about those subjects."

Hawthorne's work has also appeared here in ARCHITECT, both as a reporter and as a subject. Just last week, senior editor Eric Wills reviewed Hawthorne's new documentary about Frank Lloyd Wright's L.A. houses.

"Anyone who’s familiar with Christopher’s work knows that his creative eye, and his understanding of urban design are unparalleled," Garcetti said in a press release. "I am proud to welcome him to my administration in this important new role.”